KTM factory rider Antoine Meo on Sunday finished a close second in the Enduropale du Tourquet classic beach race on the rain and wind swept beach of this French resort after leading for much of the three-hour event.
It was only the second time Meo had raced the Enduropale. He finished fourth in 2013 in his debut ride.
Antoine Meo: “I would have liked to win. That was my objective and I am a little disappointed that we didn’t make it but I had a crash on the last lap and I lost the contact with the leader.”
Meo, the current E1 World Champion, rode the KTM 450 in the race and said it has been a great experience and excellent mental and physical training for the coming Enduro World Championships.
The KTM Factory team also opted for a three stop refueling strategy so the bike would be lighter, where most of the other riders chose to make two stops. The Enduropale is also a specialist event for which many riders prepare exclusively throughout the year, so Meo did very well to finish a close second.
On Saturday, Ben Watson, competing for KTM UK, also picked up an impressive victory in the Enduropale Junior event, finishing in one hour 32.45.451 to make it a good weekend for the Austrian brand.
For the Enduropale, riders contest as many 14 km laps as possible in the three hours of the race. The course is laid out on the beach both in long straights, at times passing through water, and through artificially shaped whoops and serpentines through treacherously tricky soft sand. The final ranking is determined by the number of laps completed after the three hours of competition and the order in which riders cross the line.
1, Adrien van Beveren, FRA, Yamaha
2, Antoine Meo, FRA, KTM
3, Steve Ramon, BEL, Suzuki